A2 Media StudiesAncillary Tasks1: Film Poster2a: Film magazine frontcover featuring the film2b: Film magazine reviewpage featuring the film
A2 Media StudiesAnalysing film posters1: Film Poster1: Film PosterBased on ideas from Media Magazine.
IntroIn your analysis you needto be able to apply a variety ofconcepts. While widespread use ofMedia Studies terminology is not100% essential, your ability toemploy key terms such asconnotation or anchorage willconsiderably enhance your work.a. ConnotationWords, sounds and visual images have denotative or literal meanings. A dictionarydefinition of ‘rose’ is likely to describe it as a flower, with a thorned stem, having avariety of colours and emitting a pleasant scent.In our culture, however, the rose has a large number of associated meanings, themajority of which connect with ideas of romance: ‘My love is like a red, red rose’. Beprepared to explore these associations or connotations as they arelikely to yield a good deal of insight into the preferred reading of your film posterand magazine cover.1: Film Poster1: Film Poster
1: Film Poster1: Film Posterb. AnchorageA picture is worth a thousand words,so the cliché goes. But rarelydo pictures appear without sometext, (whether spoken or written),which serves to establish or anchoran interpretation.In a newspaper, sub editors willapply headlines or captions to aphotograph; in a documentary, avoiceover may serve a similarfunction.To highlight for yourself theimportance of anchorage, trylooking at pictures you’re thinking ofusing for your poster or magazinecover with, and without,accompanying text, or withDifferent text.
1: Film Poster1: Film Posterd. IntertextualreferencesNote any visual or verbalreferences to other media in thetext.c. Tone andregisterWhat tone is being adopted?Remember that in humancommunication roughly 70% of themessage is through non-verbalcommunication, 23% is tone and amere 7% is through the wordsused.Is the tone humorous, solemn,laddish, coy, sentimental, orwhat?Register refers to the vocabulary,style and grammarused by speakers and writersaccording to a certain situation.There are thus degrees of formality:bloke, man, guy, gentleman, geezer,dude, blud or ma, mam, mum,mummy, mother, mater.
1: Film Poster1: Film Postere. Target audienceFrom what you can glean from the ideasalready listed, who in particular do you thinkwas the intended audience for yourparticular text?Your answer may refer to age, gender,socioeconomic status, region ornationality, sub-culture or evenpersonality type.If you areexamining a poster, you oughtto consider the context – suchas genre & classification – for anindication of target audience.
1: Film Poster1: Film Posterf. RepresentationConsider the image or portrayal of groups insociety. Posters, by dint of limitationsof space, time and the need to make animpact, tend to trade in simplifications.Be prepared to discuss representations of,gender, class, nationality, sexual orientation,youth and age (the elderly, for example,are often depicted negatively, if at all).Close cousins of this are the conceptsideology and values, which refer toideas about the way the world isand ought to be.At their most effective, ideologies assumethe status of commonsense, naturalexplanations of the world.Part of your job is to identify any socialassumptions contained in the textsyou are analysing.
1: Film Poster1: Film Posterg. Effect and effectivenessTo what extent does the poster achieve its purpose? Distributors will employ abattery of market research techniques to measure the audience and marketresponse – from sales figures, surveys and focus group gatherings.Film producers are likely to mount test screenings to test audience reaction. Whatis your own response to your poster?
How to read a film (poster)1. Previous credits? one of several film posterconventions used as a form of guarantee and as ameans of prompting audience expectations.2. Positive quote: another movie poster convention is touse quotes from national newspapers with the same orsimilar demographic or from respected critics. Failing that,anyone who says something positive about the film can bequoted. References to aspects of the film not referenced inthe poster can offer more detailed information about plot orcharacter or style e.g. balancing the hardness of a thriller’stitle and dominant images in the poster with reference to loveor humour?
How to read a film (poster)3. The film’s star: You ought to be alert to the techniques used - technicalcodes of photography would refer to aspects such as distance (close-up, longshot, and so on), angle, focus, cropping, digital manipulation, use of lighting, andso on; in moving images you may wish refer to editing, mise-en-scène or use ofcamera. Discuss font style and layout.4. The title: note position, size, colourand font. As well as demandingrecognition, the font may suggest otherconnotations.5. Colour saturation: red has connotations of passion, anger,Danger, love – other dominant colours blue, yellow, green etc connotedifferent things depending on context – cold, calm, cowardice, sunshine,nature, jealousy…
How to read a film (poster)6. Certificate 15?: a requirementof the British Board of Film Classification(BBFC) indicating that the film will includemoderate violence and swearing. Whatmight an 18 or 12A suggest about content?7. Costume, props, iconography:further help to establish setting and genre.Gothic horror you’re after? Look for fangs,bats, crucifixes, rats, coffins, black cloaks,fog, dark nights, the moon, and a Victorianor earlier setting…8 ‘Intertextual references’: anyreferences to films in a similargenre?9 Credits: another convention of the filmposter – what do they tell us about the film?
Exemplar British Film PostersDifferent GenresMedium to Micro BudgetA2 Media StudiesAncillary Tasks
Brighton Rock(2010)British Historical ThrillerTone & Register?Which one do you prefer and why?
Atonement(2007)British Costume DramaPortrait or landscape? Use ofcostume/mise-en-scene?
EasternPromises (2007)British ContemporaryUrban ThrillerLayout and previous credits.
Submarine(2010)British ArthouseComedyKey art taken from film.Use of colour andwhite spaceInteresting graphic for title?
Shifty (2009)British ContemporaryUrban ThrillerKey art taken from film.Use of bold colourhelps it stand out in acrowded market‘Kill Bill’ intertextual link?
Eden Lake(2008)British ContemporaryHorrorKey art taken from film butswitched.